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Submission + - Reddit has deleted its 'warrant canary' (reuters.com)

Arthur Dent '99 writes: Today Reddit deleted wording in its transparency report that would normally indicate that they had not received any "national security letters" or "other classified requests for user information". Such "national security letters" contain penalties for telling anyone about the request, as the government wishes to keep the request secret. However, because Reddit had placed pre-existing wording in their transparency report in the event of such a letter, they were able to simply delete the existing wording to passively inform others that a request had been received, without actually saying anything at all. This usage of pre-existing wording is known as a "warrant canary" to indicate danger, much as real canaries were used in the past to indicate the presence of deadly gases in coal mines.
Mars

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."
Technology

Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."
Science

Interviews: James Randi Answers Your Questions 217

A while ago you had the chance to ask James Randi, the founder of The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), about exposing hucksters, frauds, and fakers. Below you'll find his answers to your questions. In addition to his writings below, Randi was nice enough to sit down and talk to us about his life and his foundation. Keep an eye out for those videos coming soon.
Patents

Uniloc Patent Case Against Rackspace Tossed for Bogus Patents 76

netbuzz writes "A federal judge in Texas, presiding over a district notorious for favoring patent trolls, has summarily dismissed all claims relating to a case brought by Uniloc USA against Rackspace for [Linux] allegedly infringing upon [Uniloc's] patents. Red Hat defended Rackspace in the matter and issued a press release saying: 'In dismissing the case, Chief Judge Leonard Davis found that Uniloc's claim was unpatentable under Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. This is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter.'" You can't patent floating point math after all.
Security

Submission + - Murdoch will close News of the World over hacking (usatoday.com) 1

tripleevenfall writes: The Murdoch media empire today said it is shutting down the 168-year-old News of the World over a massive phone-hacking scandal.

James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, News Corp.and Chairman of News International, commenting on the scandalous acts said "it was inhuman and has no place in our Company."

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